SOURCE: California Science Center

January 17, 2007 19:04 ET

Acclaimed "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination" Exhibit Arrives at the California Science Center February 11, 2007 - April 29, 2007

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 17, 2007 -- Continuing the "Star Wars" saga's year-long 30th-anniversary celebration, the phenomenally popular "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination" debuts February 11, 2007 at the California Science Center, where it runs through April 29. Since its October 2005 debut, the exhibition has attracted nearly 700,000 visitors at museums in Boston, Massachusetts; Columbus, Ohio; and Portland, Oregon.

Could humanoid robots and vehicles that hover above ground, once limited only to the fantasy worlds of "Star Wars," become a reality? "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination" explores the boundaries of fantasy and reality, revealing intriguing similarities between how scientists and filmmakers think. Developed by the Museum of Science, Boston in collaboration with Lucasfilm Ltd., the 10,000-square-foot exhibit explores the fantasy technologies depicted in the "Star Wars" films and compares them to real-world technologies that are shaping our future today. Visitors will discover how ideas become technologies in real life through hands-on exhibits, immersive experiences, and cutting edge innovations.

This exhibition is the first to display costumes and props from all six "Star Wars" films with real-world technologies. Also included are extensive video interviews with filmmakers, scientists and engineers; and hands-on components, including two large Engineering Design Labs, where visitors can build and test their own speeders and robots. "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination" is presented by Bose Corporation with support from the National Science Foundation and sponsored regionally by Northrop Grumman.

"We are especially pleased to present 'Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination,'" notes Ken Phillips, California Science Center Curator of Aerospace Science, "because it gives visitors first-hand exposure to the incredible innovations of the 'Star Wars' movies while inviting them to design technologies of the future." Phillips also notes that, "Visitors will be able to explore how current science research may one day lead to real-world versions of many 'Star Wars' fantasy technologies."

"Star Wars" creator George Lucas said, "I'm happy that 'Star Wars' can help educate people about technology in an entertaining way. Technological innovation and filmmaking have a lot in common: They both begin with imagination and creativity."

There are two major thematic areas within the exhibit:

"Getting Around" focuses on transportation in the films as well as new and future modes of travel. Visitors will be able to view Luke Skywalker's Landspeeder from Episode IV, climb into a real world hovercraft and levitate, and explore how one would build a maglev car in the Design Lab.

"Robots and People" looks at the relationship between robots and humans on screen and in the real world. After seeing displays of "Star Wars" robots like C-3PO and R2-D2, visitors can try to build a droid, exploring areas such as robot mobility, perception and cognition. Robot-enthusiasts can try to make a robot walk, test a robot that balances on two wheels, and design facial expressions for an emotional robot.

In total, the exhibit features over 100 "Star Wars" artifacts and real-world technologies, 17 videos, and 21 interactive exhibits. Original film artifact highlights include models of the Millennium Falcon, Luke's landspeeder, a sandcrawler, a Naboo Starfighter, an AT-TE walker, and Queen Amidala's Nubian Starship. Costumes from each of the "Star Wars" worlds demonstrate how the environment shaped the look of the "Star Wars" characters. Some of the colorful costumes on display include Wookiees from Kashyyyk, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin and Yoda from Coruscant, a snowtrooper from Hoth, and a Jawa, from Tatooine.

Admission Information

Admission to the Science Center and "Star Wars" exhibit is free; however a strong demand is anticipated. Priority admission will be extended to IMAX ticket purchasers and California Science Center Members. All others will be admitted based on availability and capacity. Admission to the exhibit cannot be guaranteed particularly during peak hours. For more detailed information and helpful tips for planning a visit, please go to www.californiasciencecenter.org

The Millennium Falcon "Jump to Lightspeed Experience" is an additional attraction which features a multimedia presentation from the Hubble space telescope's breathtaking journey to the "edge" of the Universe. Featuring a proprietary sound system from Bose Corporation, the recreated cockpit debuts the technologies of 3Space™ audio systems, providing visitors with a realistic three-dimensional audio experience. The Falcon experience is separate from the exhibit with an admission charge of $2 per person.

**Note to Editors -- Exhibit Admission for Working Media

Due to the strong interest in the "Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination" exhibit, we can only accommodate scheduled media visits and admission is by appointment only. Please contact the Communications Department at (213) 744-7446 to make arrangements.

About the California Science Center

The California Science Center's mission is as follows: "We aspire to stimulate curiosity and inspire science learning in everyone by creating fun, memorable experiences, because we value science as an indispensable tool for understanding our world, accessibility and inclusiveness, and enriching people's lives."

The Science Center and IMAX Theater are located in historic Exposition Park, Los Angeles. Open daily from 10am to 5pm except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission to Science Center exhibits is free. IMAX tickets vary from $8.00 for adults to $4.75 for children 4-12. For recorded information on show times, phone (213) 744-7400. Tickets are available at the Box Office or online at www.californiasciencecenter.org. For advance IMAX ticket purchases, group rates, or to make reservations for any visiting group of 15+ (required), call (213) 744-2019. Parking is available in the guest lot at Figueroa and 39th/Coliseum Street at $6 per car. Both the Science Center and IMAX Theater are wheelchair accessible. Proceeds from the IMAX Theater support California Science Center exhibits and education programs.

About Lucasfilm Ltd.

Lucasfilm is one of the leading film and entertainment companies in the world. Lucasfilm's businesses include George Lucas' film and television production and distribution. Lucasfilm's feature films have won 19 Oscars and received 52 Academy Award nominations, and its television projects have won 12 Emmy Awards. For more information, visit www.lucasfilm.com or contact the Lucasfilm Communications Department at (415) 623-1962.

About Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

"STAR WARS: WHERE SCIENCE MEETS IMAGINATION" was developed by the Museum of Science, Boston and Lucasfilm Ltd. The exhibition has been made possible through the generous support of Bose Corporation. "Star Wars" objects in this exhibition are on loan from the Archives of Lucasfilm Ltd.

The Museum of Science, Boston is a participant in the Science Museum Exhibit Collaborative with the California Science Center, COSI Columbus, Ft. Worth Museum of Science and History, The Franklin Institute Science Museum and The Science Museum of Minnesota.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0307875. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Lucasfilm, the Lucasfilm logo, "STAR WARS," droid, Jedi, lightsaber and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. TM & © Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.

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